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Apprenticeships for People with Disabilities

Disabled World (

Revised/Updated: Thursday, 31st January 2019

Synopsis and Key Points:

Resources and information for employers and people with disabilities seeking apprenticeships in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada.

Main Document

What is An Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is defined as a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study. Apprenticeships also enable practitioners to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession. Most of the apprentice training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, often in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies.

An apprenticeship is a real job with training.

Apprenticeships usually last for between one, and sometimes up to six, years depending upon the level of the program. Almost any type of apprenticeship can be made accessible and support is available while you learn and work.

Apprenticeship programs offer young adults, including those with disabilities, a career pathway that provides employment as the individual learns on the job. Doing an apprenticeship is a great way to earn a salary, get training and qualifications and develop your career.

Individuals who successfully complete an apprenticeship program become journey level workers and receive a widely recognized credential of skills attainment.

Clipart image of a carpenter, painter, and appliance technician.
Clipart image of a carpenter, painter, and appliance technician.

An Apprenticeship Provides:

Employers and Disability Apprenticeships

Many employers are still reluctant to hire individuals with disabilities because they lack understanding about their abilities. In addition, they have fears about their responsibilities for providing reasonable accommodations. Yet, employing people with disabilities improves an employer's bottom line by reducing recruiting and training costs because they are productive capable workers who tend to stay with their employers longer. Also, in many cases, employers can receive tax, wage subsidy, and other benefits for hiring individuals with disabilities.

Quick Facts Regarding Appreticeships

Information on Disability Apprenticeships by Country


Australian Apprenticeships encompass all apprenticeships and traineeships and combine time at work with training. An employer of an Australian Apprentice with disability may receive an incentive each week for a full-time apprentice, or a pro rata amount for a part-time apprentice.
Australian Disability Apprenticeships - Information & Fact Sheets


In Canada there are many federal programs that support persons with disabilities in obtaining employment opportunities. Information regarding apprenticeship programs, training, and grants for persons with a disability in Canada.
Canadian Disability Apprenticeships - Information & Fact Sheets


The number of U.K. disabled people in apprenticeships has more than tripled in the last 10 years. Many U.K. employers offer support or equipment to help you do your job. In England most apprentice vacancies are listed on the U.K. National Apprenticeship Service website.
U.K. Disability Apprenticeships - Information & Fact Sheets


Apprenticeship programs in the United States are regulated by the Smith-Hughes Act (1917), The National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), and National Apprenticeship Act, also known as the "Fitzgerald Act."
U.S. Disability Apprenticeship Information & Fact Sheets

Subtopics and Associated Subjects

Related Information


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